The Vase

By Joseph Logsdon

When Alex Fredrickson hired his new maid, he knew something was wrong. On the surface, she seemed completely normal. She did her job well, but that didn't prevent him from having his suspicions. One afternoon, before she got too busy, Alex decided to have a talk with her.

"Rose, we need to talk," Alex demanded as he walked into the kitchen.

"Make it quick, I have work to do," Rose replied.

"Listen, Rose, I can't just let this go. Believe me, I want to trust you, but I have to be sure. Now, if you'll answer my questions, we can get this over with," Alex stated.

"You mean, you don't trust me?"

"It's not that I don't trust you, it's just you've been acting very odd. Why, just the other day, instead of mopping the floor, you were sweeping it. You have to admit, that's pretty strange," Alex stated.

"But, Mr. Fredrickson, everyone has to sweep their floor. If you only mop it, you won't get the job done. I know you've been under a lot of stress lately, but trust me, I know what I'm doing," she stated.

"Just because you live in my house, doesn't mean you have the right to question my judgment. From this moment on, you will do what I say, understand?"

"Sure, I understand," she replied.

"Now that you understand, you can make me lunch. Oh, by the way, don't forget to clean the basement. It's a mess, I know, but it has to be done," Alex stated.

"I understand," she replied.

"Also, whatever you do, don't touch the vase. If anything were to happen to it, I would go insane. You see, Rose, I purchased it from an art dealer. At first, I didn't think it was worth shit, but when I estimated its value, I nearly fainted. Someday, when the time is right, I might sell it. Until then, I think I'll keep admiring its beauty," Alex stated.

"Wow, Mr. Fredrickson, I had no idea," Rose stated.

"If you disobey me again, you won't be coming back here," Alex stated.

"Okay, I understand. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have work to do," Rose stated as she left the room.

That night, around midnight, there was a knock at the door. Thinking that it was his wife, Alex opened the door. To his surprise, a police officer stood in the doorway.

"Officer, what can I do for you?"

"Sir, do you have everything locked?"

"Locked, why?"

"Well, you see, there's a burglar in your neighborhood. If I were you, I'd keep everything locked up. I mean, there's no cause for alarm, we're just being cautious," the officer stated.

"Of course, I understand. Tell me, officer, what does this burglar look like?"

"Well, at this point, we don't actually know who the burglar is. Again, like I said, there's no cause for alarm. I'm sure, once you go to bed tonight, everything will be just fine," the officer stated.

"Yeah, I'm sure," Alex replied.

"Well, goodnight," the officer stated as he left the porch.

Maybe, if Alex had been an ordinary man, he wouldn't have suspected his maid of being the burglar. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't get the notion out of his head. Though he couldn't be certain, Alex knew that he would have to question Rose. Entering her bedroom, there was an ominous feeling as he walked towards the bed.

"Rose, we need to talk," Alex stated.

"Oh, can't it wait till morning?"

"I'm sorry, it can't," Alex stated.

"Well, whatever it is, make it quick," Rose stated, removing her blanket.

"Well, there isn't any easy way to say this, I'm afraid," Alex stated.

"Say what?"

"By this time tomorrow, I want you out of this house. Is that clear?"

"Why, may I ask, are you discharging me?"

"Your service hasn't been satisfactory, that's all," Alex stated.

"There's more to it than that, isn't there?"

"Well, if you insist on knowing, I'll tell you. A few minutes ago, there was a police officer at my door. Naturally, being a police officer, I believed what he told me," Alex stated.

"And what did he tell you, exactly?"

"Well, for one thing, he told me that there was a burglar in the neighborhood. You wouldn't happen to know anything about that, would you?"

"Why, of course not. Why should I?"

"Ever since you arrived here, I've had my suspicions. Now, after months of speculating, I know why I was so suspicious," he stated.

"What are you saying?"

"You came here to steal my vase, didn't you?"

"Are you crazy?"

"On the contrary, I'm quite sane. You thought you could get away with it, didn't you? First, you were going to steal the vase, then you were going to kill me in cold blood. Well, I got news for you, you won't be taking anything tonight," Alex stated.

"I haven't taken anything, I swear," she stuttered.

"You're right, you haven't, but you were planning to. Well, now that I've discovered your little scheme, what are you going to do? True, I don't have any solid evidence, though at this point, I don't really need any. Since I'm in a generous mood, I'll give you one minute to get out of my house. If you're not gone by then, I'll call the police," Alex threatened.

"Are you serious?"

"The clock is ticking," Alex stated.

Hoping to avoid being arrested, Rose ran to the front door. When she opened it, however, she was greeted by the police officer.

"Don't move," the officer commanded as he pulled out his gun.

"What's going on?"

"You're under arrest," the officer stated.

"For what?"

"Burglary," he answered.

Reaching the bottom of the stairs, Alex felt relieved as he witnessed the apprehension of the suspect.

"Officer, I'm glad you're here. Why, had she gone free, who knows what could've happened," Alex stated.

"Don't worry, Mr. Fredrickson, we have the right person," the officer stated as he handcuffed Rose.

"I gotta hand it to you, I never saw this coming," Alex stated.

"Well, you probably didn't see this coming, either," the officer stated.

By the time Alex learned the truth, it was too late. Instead of pointing the gun at Rose, the officer pointed the gun at Alex.

"Officer, why are you pointing that thing at me? She's the criminal, not me," Alex stated.

"Shut up, you fucking prick! Now, where's the vase?"

"What are you talking about?"

"Hell, I've seen some stupid people in my day, but they're nothing compared to you. Did you really think I was a cop? The next time you open the door, make sure you know who it is, because there are a lot of scary people out there. Well, what do you know, I'm one of those scary people," he laughed.

"This can't be happening," Alex stated.

"Oh, make no mistake, it's happening," he laughed.

The End